BMBS Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery entry requirements

Full entry requirements for BMBS Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery

In order to meet the academic requirements for this programme, you must have one of the following combinations of qualifications:

  • GCSE, A Levels and UCAT
  • GAMSAT
  • A Levels and stage 1 of either Biomedical Science or Human Biosciences with the University of Plymouth. Degree study at other institutions is not considered.
  • A degree programme through the University of Plymouth School of Biomedical Sciences. Degree study at other institutions is not considered.

Full details on the subject and grade requirements for these qualifications can be found below.

None of the typical offers listed below are necessarily the threshold for interview selection. Other factors including the number of applications received and performance in the University Clinical Aptitude Test (UCAT) influence the threshold for interview selection.

GCSE

GCSE

Applicants need to achieve 7 GCSE passes (grade C/grade 4 or higher) which must include the following subjects:

  • English Language
  • Mathematics
  • Two Science subjects - either GCSE Double Award Science or two from single award Chemistry, Biology, or Physics

We are unable to consider functional skills in lieu of GCSEs.

A Level

A Level

The typical offer is A*AA – AAA at GCE A level which must include the following:

  • Grade A in Biology
  • Grade A in a second science from Chemistry, Physics, Maths or Psychology
  • Your third A level can be from any subject area and does not need to be science based. When shortlisting for interview we do not give preference to those who complete three Science A Levels. General Studies is not accepted

We are only able to consider A Levels completed within five years of the start of the application cycle. For example, qualifications completed since 2016 would still be valid when applying in September 2021.

If your A Levels outdate this, please refer to the GAMSAT section below.

Widening Access

Widening Access

For applicants from widening access backgrounds, we will accept AAB at GCE A Level, which must include the following:

  • Grade A in Biology
  • Grade A in a second science from Chemistry, Physics, Maths or Psychology
  • Your third GCE A level can be from any subject area and does not need to be science based. When shortlisting for interview we do not give preference to those who complete three science A Levels. General Studies is not accepted
  • UCAT and GCSE requirements remain the same for all applicants

Applicants with AAB must meet a minimum of three from the following widening access indicators:

  • POLAR4
Living in a low participation neighbourhood as determined by your postcode (POLAR4 quintiles 1 and 2).

  • Indices of Mass Deprivation
Living in an area categorised as being in Indices of Mass Deprivation (IMD) 1–4 or 20% most deprived as determined by your English postcode. Northern Ireland postcode, Scottish postcode, and Welsh postcode.

  • School type
Receiving schooling that is not paid for, for example by attending or having attended a state school, or attending or having attended an independent school that is fully funded by a scholarship whilst completing your relevant Level 3 qualifications. Receipt of scholarships must be evidenced by a school letter submitted at the point of application to meddent-admissions@plymouth.ac.uk.

  • School performance
Attending or attended a low performing school/college whilst completing your level 3 qualifications e.g. 16–18 performance in the ‘below’ or ‘well below average’ classifications. If you attend a secondary school or college in Northern Ireland, Scotland, or Wales, please contact meddent-admissions@plymouth.ac.uk.

  • UCAT, EMA or 16–19 bursary

In receipt of one or more of these bursaries. Bursary entitlement to be evidenced by an official award letter or a school letter submitted at the point of UCAS application to meddent-admissions@plymouth.ac.uk.

  • Free school meals
Being in receipt of free school meals – evidenced by school letter submitted by applicant at the point of application to meddent-admissions@plymouth.ac.uk.

  • In care/care leaver
Being in care or a care leaver – evidenced by school letter submitted by applicant at the point of application to meddent-admissions@plymouth.ac.uk.

  • Peninsula Pathways

Significant engagement in either our Peninsula Pathways programme or our Peninsula Pathways PLUS programme.

Significant engagement includes completion of the five-day summer Work Experience Programme, being a member of the e-Mentoring scheme and attended a minimum of three of the various Peninsula Pathways workshops by the end of Year 12.

The University of Plymouth is committed to Widening Access and ensuring that all students with the potential to succeed, regardless of their background, are able to apply with us. The additional information gained through contextual data enables our Admissions Advisory Panel to recognise a student’s achievements and identify their potential to succeed in the context of their background and experience.

UKWPMED

UKWPMED

 For applicants who are part of the UKWPMED scheme, we will accept ABB at GCE A Level, which must include the following:

  • Grade A in Biology
  • Grade B in a second science from Chemistry, Physics, Maths or Psychology
  • Your third GCE A level can be from any subject area and does not need to be science based. When shortlisting for interview we do not give preference to those who complete three science A Levels. General Studies is not accepted

If you are applying with ABB due to participation in the UKWPMED scheme, please ensure you have flagged your participation in the scheme on your UCAS application. We will then contact the university through which you are completing the scheme for confirmation of your participation.

A Level alternative qualifications

A Level alternative qualifications

The following qualifications can be considered in place of A Levels, alongside the standard GCSE and UCAT requirement.

We are only able to consider qualifications completed within five years of the start of the application cycle. For example, qualifications completed since 2016 would still be valid when applying in September 2021.

If your qualifications outdate this, please refer to the GAMSAT section below.


International Baccalaureate

36–38 points overall to include the following:

  • Higher Level 6 in Biology
  • Higher Level 6 in one further science from Chemistry, Physics, Maths or Psychology

Scottish Advanced Highers

A*AA-AAA to include the following:

  • Grade A in Biology
  • Grade A in one further science from Chemistry, Physics, Maths or Psychology.

We are unable to consider Scottish Highers for entry onto this course.


Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Skills Challenge

The Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Skills Challenge can be considered in place of a third A Level alongside Biology and a second science from Chemistry, Physics, Maths or Psychology.

Irish Leaving Certificate

H1, H1, H2, H2, H2, H2 to include Biology and one further science from Chemistry, Physics, Maths or Psychology


Cambridge Pre-U Diploma

D3, D3, D3 including Biology and one further science from Chemistry, Physics, Maths or Psychology.

For widening access applicants, we will consider M2 in place of grade B at A Level.


Other UK qualifications

We do not consider any UK Level 3 qualifications for this course that are not listed above. If you do not have any of the above qualifications, please refer to the GAMSAT section below.
 

Qualifications completed outside of the UK

We welcome applicants with qualifications from outside of the UK and assess comparability to UK qualifications using Ecctis.

In order to check the academic suitability of your qualification, please contact the Admissions Team on meddent-admissions@plymouth.ac.uk.

UCAT

UCAT

As part of our commitment to a fair and transparent admissions process, Peninsula Medical School uses the University Clinical Aptitude Test (UCAT) in order to make informed choices from amongst the many highly qualified applicants who apply for a place on the BMBS programme. UCAT test results will be used alongside A Levels and GCSEs to select for interview. The Admissions Advisory Panel reserve the right to consider all aspects of the UCAT when shortlisting for interview.

The UCAT is valid for 12 months and must be sat in the year of application.

The UCAT threshold score applied to determine candidate selection for interview can alter each year and is influenced by overall candidate performance in the UCAT and the number and quality of applications received. Listed below are the thresholds for selection applied for entry in the academic years 2017-2021; prospective applicants may wish to use this to help determine their chances of selection. Unfortunately, we will not be able to confirm the cut off for the coming academic year until all applications have been received and assessed.

Year of entry: Overall

2017: 1870

2018: 2400

2019: 2330

2020: 2390

2021: 2400

If you have sat the UCATSEN please be aware that you will need to provide standard evidence of your entitlement to this additional time by submitting the following:

  • If you are still in education, an official letter from your school, college, University that states that on the basis of a diagnosis from a qualified medical practitioner, educational psychologist or specialist teacher the candidate is currently entitled to additional time in public examinations (or have had additional time in public examinations within the last 2 years);

Or

  • If you are no longer in education, a post-16 year’s diagnosis or report from a qualified medical practitioner or educational psychologist that explicitly recommends additional time in public examinations.

UCAT Website

Official UCAT candidate preparation toolkit

Official UCAT advice and information videos on YouTube

International applicants

International applicants

Peninsula Medial School welcomes and encourages applications from suitably qualified international students who are either self-funded, supported by scholarships from their respective governments, or sponsored by scholarship programmes operated by the British Council and similar funding bodies.

If you are an international applicant, you need to meet the equivalent admissions criteria described for home students, including the UCAT. Applicants applying with overseas qualifications should contact the Admissions Team at meddent-admissions@plymouth.ac.uk prior to submitting an application through UCAS.

In addition, international applicants need to be fully proficient in the English language. If English is your first language, we will accept your home country’s equivalent of a GCSE grade A/8 in English Language providing it is at Level C1 or above according to the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR).

Students whose first language is not English must demonstrate proficiency in the English language by achieving one of the following qualifications:

  • IELTS band 7.5 or above with at least 7.0 in each of the Speaking and Listening sections (taken within 12 months of entry).
  • lGCSE or GCSE English Language (as a first language) grade A. A supplementary statement confirming inclusion of the Speaking and Listening components will be required for IGCSE 0500.
  • IB score of 6 at the ordinary level in English Language (as a first language).

We know that university life is a challenge for any student but especially when you are a long way from home. We pride ourselves on being friendly and supportive and we have a nominated academic tutor to coordinate the induction and academic support provided to international students. International Student Advice (ISA) also provide support and can assist you with any non-academic issues affecting international students. There are also student welfare support and counselling services, wardens and student health centres on hand if you need them.

Student visas

If you have an offer of a place at the Faculty of Health you will need to apply for a Student visa (formerly Tier 4 General Student category) unless you have an alternate visa which allows study or a suitable UK passport. Further information is available on the UK Border Agency's website.

Re-sit applicants

Re-sit applicants

Re-sit applicants are considered for this course, with the following requirements:

  • If you are applying with predicted grades, a minimum of ABB must be achieved on first sitting of A Level
  • Where ABB is not achieved on first sitting, applicants must re-sit the required qualifications and apply once suitable grades have been achieved
  • A Level or accepted equivalent qualifications must be completed in no more than 3 years of study, unless otherwise advised
  • A suitable qualification profile must be achieved on first re-sit attempt

We do not have an AS Level resit policy, however, full A Levels must be completed within the above timeframe.

For re-sit criteria of other qualifications, please contact the Admissions Team at meddent-admissions@plymouth.ac.uk.

Graduate Medical School Admissions Test (GAMSAT)

Graduate Medical School Admissions Test (GAMSAT)

Peninsula Medical School uses the Graduate Medical School Admissions Test (GAMSAT) as an alternative entry route to A Levels. We are unable to consider previous degree study for this programme, other than through the routes outlined in the ‘Internal Transfer Options’ section below. Candidates holding degrees or without suitable A Levels should therefore sit the GAMSAT to meet the entry criteria. Please note that although the GAMSAT is called a graduate admissions test, you do not need to be a graduate to sit the GAMSAT or apply with this qualification.

GAMSAT assesses your academic aptitude for the study of medicine. Results from the test are the only academic qualification that will affect the shortlisting process and previous qualifications will not be considered. The results are valid for 2 years but must be sat by September in the year of application at the latest.

GAMSAT is a 5 ½ hour written test that assesses your reasoning in Humanities, Social Science, Biological Science, Physical Science and Written Communication. As this test only assesses academic aptitude, if you're successful you'll still need to show us at interview that you have the appropriate personal qualities to train and practise as a doctor.

If you'd like to know more or to register for the test, please visit the GAMSAT website.

Below are examples of the score thresholds applied in previous admissions cycles. We are unable to set the GAMSAT threshold in advance of the application deadline, instead all GAMSAT applicants are ranked based on scores achieved.

2016 entry
Section 1: 55
Section 2: 62
Section 3: 61
Overall: 65

2017 entry
Section 1: 55
Section 2: 62
Section 3: 61
Overall: 63

2018 entry
Section 1: 55
Section 2: 62
Section 3: 61
Overall: 63

2019 entry
Section 1: 52
Section 2: 56
Section 3: 51
Overall: 63

2020 entry
Section 1: 55
Section 2: 55
Section 3: 58
Overall: 63

2021 entry
Section 1: 47
Section 2: 48
Section 3: 54
Overall: 66

Please note that if you have already completed a degree, you will be unable to access a second student loan through Student Finance England. As such, within the conditions of your offer you will be required to provide evidence that you have funds available to cover tuition costs for the first four years of the programme.

Internal transfer options

Internal transfer options

The University of Plymouth offers its students the opportunity to apply for this course through two additional routes.  


Stage One Transfer from Biomedical Science or Human Biosciences

In order to apply through this route, you will need to be enrolled on stage one of BSc (Hons) Biomedical Science or BSc (Hons) Human Biosciences. Applications should be made via UCAS by the 15th October annually. Successful candidates commence study of BMBS from stage one.

The following criteria is applied for stage one transfer applicants:

  • Applicants must achieve AAB at A Level to include A in Biology and A in a second science from Chemistry, Physics, Maths or Psychology
  • A minimum of 70% average across all Year 1 degree modules
  • An interview process is required

This is a competitive route into our Medical degree and is not guaranteed to any candidate. We are able to interview 20 candidates between Medicine and Dentistry and offer places to a total of 10 individuals across the programmes.

Stage one of degrees studied elsewhere will not be considered.

Graduate Entry

We are able to consider graduates from any of the University of Plymouth School of Biomedical Science for entry onto stage one of the BMBS programme. This route is valid for two years after graduation and all applications must be made via UCAS.

The following criteria is applied for graduate entry:

  • Applicants must have achieved or be predicted to achieve a first (70%) or higher in a University of Plymouth School of Biomedical Science programme

Applicants from this route must successfully complete an interview process prior to being offered a place.

Degrees completed outside of the University of Plymouth will not be considered, instead applicants are encourage to sit the GAMSAT.

Please note that if you have already completed a degree, you will be unable to access a second student loan through Student Finance England. As such, within the conditions of your offer you will be required to provide evidence that you have funds available to cover tuition costs for the first four years of the programme.

Selection and admissions process

Selection and admissions process

Applications should be made through UCAS by the published deadline. This is typically the 15th October. You can apply to no more than four of the same clinical course choice, so although you cannot apply for five medical courses, four medical courses and one dental course would be permitted. Further information on this is available through the UCAS website. You may also wish to consider an alternative course such as Biomedical Science or Human Biosciences as your fifth choice.

All decisions on applications are made by the Admissions Advisory Panel, which consists of academics, clinicians and senior members of the administrative team.

The University of Plymouth Medicine and Dentistry Admissions Team process applications as follows:

1.   Shortlisting for interview – Applicants are considered for interview based on relevant academic qualifications alone. We do not currently consider personal statements or work experience when selecting for interview

The Admissions Advisory Panel consider many factors when choosing who will be invited to attend an interview, including the number of places available on the course and the number of applications received, alongside the academic profiles of all of our applicants

2.   Interview – Successful applicants are invited to attend an interview process. We use Multiple Mini Interviews (MMI) as the format for our interviews, and full details can be found here.

Following interviews, candidates are ranked based on the score achieved and the top performing applicants are offered a place on the course

3.   Offer – Offers are made via UCAS. Within all offers, candidates are required to complete a series of health and police checks, full details of which are communicated to firm offer holders by the Admissions Team.

Practising as a doctor requires the highest standards and we take seriously our commitment to only enrol and teach students with the integrity required of the profession. Full details can be found on our Student Conduct and Fitness to Practise page.

Full details of our selection and admissions process can be found here.

Frequently asked questions

Frequently asked questions

Medicine is an incredibly competitive course. What are my chances of being offered a place?

It is difficult for us to confirm what percentage of applicants will be accepted, as the number of applications we receive changes year to year.

Application statistics for previous years can be found below:

2021 Entry:

A Level (Home): 1445 applications, 686 interviews, 299 offers
Biomedical Science/Human Biosciences Transfer (Home): 19 applications, 12 interview, 2 offer
GAMSAT and School of Biomedical Science Graduate (Home): 152 applications, 27 interviews, 15 offers
International: 276 applications, 84 interviews, 23 offers
Total: 1892 applications, 809 interviews, 339 offers

2020 Entry:

A Level (Home): 1117 applications, 864 interviews, 361 offers
Biomedical Science/Human Biosciences Transfer (Home): 8 applications, 3 interview, 3 offer
GAMSAT and School of Biomedical Science Graduate (Home): 125 applications, 21 interviews, 19 offers
International: 195 applications, 83 interviews, 27 offers
Total: 1445 applications, 971 interviews, 410 offers


I am unable to obtain predicted grades for my qualifications. Will my application still be considered?

We are unable to consider any applicant who cannot provide predicted grades for pending qualifications.

 

Do you consider late applications?

We are unable to consider any applications that are received by UCAS after the deadline, which is typically 18:00 (GMT) on the 15th October annually. To ensure your application is considered, please do not leave it until the last minute to apply, as you will need to allow time for your school or college to add your reference and officially submit your application.

If you applied on time but changed your mind about your university choices, we will consider your application assuming you are within the 14 day cooling off period set by UCAS and your application was submitted prior to the deadline.

 

I will be turning 18 after the course has commenced. Will my application be considered?

For insurance purposes, we are unable to send any student who is under the age of 18 on placement. Placements begin very early into the school year, so we will be unable to enrol any candidate who has not turned 18 prior to the induction period finishing. We will still consider your application, but you would be offered deferred entry if successful.

 

Do you consider transfers from other Medical Schools?

We are unable to consider any transfers, or degree study from any university other than the University of Plymouth.

 

When will interviews take place?

Interviews typically take place between December and February. You will be given the opportunity to choose your preferred interview date through our online booking system, and we endeavour to provide as much notice of interview dates as possible.

 

Where will interviews take place?

While we typically require all applicants to attend an interview in Plymouth, in response to the coronavirus pandemic and in the interest of keeping our applicants and staff safe, interviews took place online for 2021 entry. We expect interviews to remain online for 2022 entry but will keep our applicants updated if this changes.

 

I have personal issues that I am worried could have affected my interview/exam performance. Do you consider extenuating circumstances?

Whilst we sympathise with the unfortunate situation you have experienced, in the interest of fairness to all our applicants we are unable to consider any extenuating circumstances at any stage of the admissions process.

 

Will you have places available through Clearing?

Although we very rarely have places available through Clearing, you are more than welcome to call us from early August to check if there are places available.

 

I have been given an offer but I am worried that I will not meet the academic criteria. What will happen if I don’t achieve the required grades?

We understand that applying for university and sitting exams is an incredibly stressful time. We will be unable to confirm whether we can accept your application if you do not meet the required grades until A Level results day. At this point, we will know how all of our applicants have performed and the Admissions Advisory Panel will advise whether reduced grades will be considered.

While we have softened on entry requirements in the past, there is no guarantee that this will be the case.